We’ve been walking on this journey for years now, and I’ve held your hand long enough to know that when I slip into quicksand or miss a step, it is not you who lets go. Your fingers aren’t the ones coated in doubt or in selfishness, gripping firmly only when it feels right, when it feels necessary. Your hands are not made of brittle bone, shivering and breaking when the cold starts to show. Teach me to never let go.
We’ve known plenty of good weather. Safe landings. Skies full of stars and days of endless wind. Scraped knees were never a problem, we always seemed to be in fields of yellow and green, surrounded by miles and miles of running streams. There were times when I would purposefully stumble, thinking that it would be okay, I’d land elbows first in the faces of dandelions anyway. Other times I’d stray, not because of greener grass, but because I was too caught up smelling that single flower to see that you were calling me to the next meadow, where petals of a sweeter smell and prettier colors stretch out like a seascape. Teach me to give up my little treasures and desires, for yours are far better.
Sometimes I get a little adventurous. I tell you I want mountains. I tell you I want to climb, that I want the strain and the adrenaline rush, the thrill of letting pieces of hardened sand and pebble carry my whole weight, the challenge, the sweat, the blood. I tell you I want to see things from the eyes of God. I tell you I want to struggle and overcome. I tell you I want the soul of a deer, to plant my feet firmly on the narrow heights, I tell you I’m alright but when I’m actually in the process of the climb, in the process of the waiting, wondering which rock do I grasp next, which path do I trust with my steps, I tell you I’m not ready for mountains after all. But you did not bring me here to watch me fall, so teach me. Teach me to keep my ankles strong, and my hold on you stronger.
And when we tire of mountains, you take me to oceans. You know how much I love the saltwater mysteries, how my heart sings when I get to feel clumps of wet sand beneath the soles of my feet. And you know how much I don’t know about the waters, you know that it’s hard for me to tell when an undercurrent comes sweeping like thousands of tiny *****, that I can’t spot the difference between high tide and low tide until the waves are lapping at my door, that I still swim after jellyfish no matter how many times I’ve been stung, and how I forget that not every beautiful thing has beautiful intentions, and especially how oceans also terrify the breath out of me. One of my deepest fears is to die drowning, but still you row us out in a weathered boat into the middle of the sea, no life vests or whistles, nothing. We’ve had calm waters and dolphin mornings, we’ve had rough rowing and storms brewing, and each time you managed to put the thundering and rumbling in my chest to rest, and each and every time you’ve gotten us back to shore. But honestly, there are days I want to jump ship, sail my own boat, find my own sea, and some days I do. Those days I lose my way, those days I’m half drowned, but I turn around and find you there. Teach me to trust the one whose voice the waves and wind know.
Now here we are in a different kind of sea, the kind without water. This pit is abundant in ***** yellow devils, illusions and false promises, but all I have are questions and weary feet. Why are we here? Where are we going? Why did we leave? How am I going to shake off this mirage? When is it going to rain? After all we've been through, this is where you're taking me?
My path is an endless circle, a cycle using my sight, my heart, my feelings, my stocked up wisdom to judge my situation and I come to the conclusion that you have deserted me. But you haven't. And I don't understand how you stuck with me through hills and valleys, and never once thought of leaving, but you haven't. Your shadow is cast on me and peace overflows. Maybe I've been asking the wrong questions. Maybe instead of asking you where the stretch of sand ends, I should be asking you to teach me.
Teach me to love you in every season, whether it be the harshest of winters or the wildest of heats. Teach me to understand that deserts make me thirst for water, that I need to be lost so that I may be found, that without a battle there is no victory, that seeds die before they grow into trees. But before anything else, teach me to let the sound of your voice to be what guides me through winding paths and roaring winds, not which road looks smooth or which sky looks dim.
We've been walking on this journey for years now, and I've held your hand long enough to know that all this time you have been teaching me to fall in love with my eyes closed.
A spoken word poem written for Sali Production's benefit concert for Resources for the Blind, Mata, last month in Ortigas Park.
Also, I can't think of a title. Help.